NB to offer travel rebates

PC Leader Tim Houston us asking ‘why can’t McNeil do the same?

In an effort to boost their economy, a new provincial hospitality incentive in New Brunswick will offer rebates to residents of that province who travel at home, but Nova Scotia has no such plan.

“We want people to get out and move around safely while supporting local businesses,” said Nova Scotia PC Party Leader Tim Houston. “By creating an initiative to help fund provincial travel, we are helping tourism operators.”

In May, Tim Houston and the Progressive Conservatives presented Ready for What’s Next, a plan to give a boost to tourism and the economy. That plan would incentivize people to explore and travel throughout the province with a $200 hospitality tax credit.

“The Premier still has not put forward an economic plan to help these small and medium businesses,” said Houston. “We need to incentivize economic recovery.”

New Brunswickers can apply for a 20% rebate on eligible expenses while vacationing in their province between July 15 and Sept. 30. The rebate includes purchases up to $1,000 on accommodations, food and drink, activities and travel. The plan Houston tabled in May would be similar, giving $200 per tax filer and $100 per dependent to be spent on hospitality.

Keith Bain, MLA for Victoria-The Lakes says tourism around the Cabot Trail would normally be a huge economic driver.

“As the economy suffers in Nova Scotia, and residents can’t travel far, many businesses could use the boost we are proposing,” said Bain. “A little help would go a long way.”

A post COVID-19, family summer stay-cation within our borders might be out of reach. With this measure, summer getaway costs are kept low.

“The only tourism operator that appears to be still winning financially this summer is the one  being paid to manage the inoperable Yarmouth ferry service,” said Houston. “Meanwhile, restaurants and shops that are the backbone of our economy are suffering.”

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